Kitchen Renovations: Ask An Expert

Going for kitchen renovations purely based on the lowest price is asking for trouble. It’s likely that you’ll end up paying for it in the years to come. It could end up costing similar or more to good quality, plus the process is quite disappointing.

Realising that the cabinetry is poor quality or that the cupboard and appliances have been incorrectly positioned happen way down the track when it’s too late. Warranties are also something to be mindful of, as often you assume that you’re covered for something when you’re not. A new kitchen should be an investment that adds real value to a home.

Joyce Kitchens’ Senior Designer Dawn Metcalfe says you can compromise on some elements of a kitchen to reduce costs. Certain things for kitchen renovations shouldn’t be overlooked and exceptional design is first and foremost.

“It’s the smallest details we consider for people,’ she said. ‘Some home renovators have come back to me and admitted they’d wished they’d spent a bit extra for custom design.  Many try to stick to a firm budget rather than spending just a few thousand dollars more. This is an amount they’d soon forget, but would make such a difference to their renovation.”

The kitchen is the hub of modern home life in Australia, and quality kitchens, along with bathrooms and laundries, are prized by residents, real estate buyers and renters.

So if you don’t have the budget for everything you desire, where can you compromise?

“People can focus too much on the appliances and quite often spend half their budget on high-end top brand appliances, not realising that if you don’t put good cabinets in, then that’ll be the thing that falls apart really quickly,” Dawn said.

‘You can compromise on gadgetry and extra accessories and perhaps add them later, but you should never compromise on well-crafted cabinetry which has a very good warranty – that in itself is something that gives Joyce Kitchens’ customers peace of mind. It’s a big purchase and you want to get it right for the long run.’

Dawn says she and her design colleagues at Joyce Kitchens guide their clients towards decisions that ensure quality and functionality for their kitchen renovations.

“I think people underestimate using the skills of a qualified and skilled designer because they think they can download a programme off the internet and do it themselves or choose the cheapest cabinetmaker. If they do that, they can miss out on having an expert work out the technical aspects,” she said.

“Designers consider every moving part… we look at whether you can open the dishwasher and a drawer at the same time without everything clashing.

“We plan the installation of appliances ensuring it’s done to specifications and with the right ventilation.  If that’s incorrect, you can risk causing a fire or shortening the life of the product.

“Some people try to put too many things into the sink cavity – bins, a water filter, even a detergent rack. They can forget that you also need to consider plumbing. If the space isn’t planned, as a result it won’t all fit.

“You can end up with cupboards that are too short or too tall for the window height, which should set the height of the benchtops.”

Experienced designers consider aesthetics and symmetry, including planning the width and height of cupboards. These all contributing to the final effect of the kitchen.

“Customers can overlook the finishing touches and features including the splashback. These things can make a kitchen outstanding, or kill it,” Dawn said.

“If we’re given a realistic budget from the start, we can steer people towards the best-possible result for that budget in terms of materials for the doors, benchtops and the finishes. There are lots of affordable options that look great and wear really well if integrated into an exceptionally designed functional kitchen, that’s beautifully built and carefully installed. The finished result will be fantastic, and above all, will add value to the property for the future.”

This article was supplied by Joyce Kitchens. Joyce Kitchens will be exhibiting at the Perth HIA Home Show from 27th – 29th March at stand B25.